Teachers should have much more say in testing

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Teachers Should have more say in testing

Testing by teachers is done to assess the student’s skill and how much she or he has gained. Quizzes are done to test smaller steps in learning. When the teacher gives a quiz, the results tell her if the students have all mastered the particular skill. If the test or quiz shows that the students have all passed, then she or he can proceed with the lesson. This is vital. If the quiz shows that they have not all mastered it then the teacher will most likely go over it again. The teacher can slow down enough to allow the slower ones to catch up.  Tests also have another role and that is to push a class when the material has been covered.  The class can be given the work to review and then the test given. This will allow them to get down and work for the test. This engenders some competition but it also ensures that the student becomes more familiar and gains more skill with the ideas involved.

If outside agencies engage in too many testing activities, then the school is affected since the time the teacher has to do her own testing and quizzing is rather limited. Indeed it seems that teachers need to be given some priority if our schools are to improve even more. Certainly outside agencies can test but it seems that that should be limited and the teacher be given much consideration in her engineering of learning.

Grading is important for if students make high grades for little effort they become lazy and do not work hard to pass their tests and quizzes. This fosters laziness and entitlement, for some students begin to feel they are entitled to an A without doing the necessary work. Such students will make good grades without adequate effort, if the teachers permit it, but when they go to a university which is more demanding and the other students are more competitive, they will find themselves behind, for they will not have cultivated the habit of work. There are superb schools and there are not super schools. The grade given at a top school, for example a 75 may be an 85 at a lesser school. It can be a tricky business since if students make low grades the parents can at times become upset. Some teachers, or schools may be rather generous with grades, but to some extent that will not encourage students to try really hard.

When testing from outside the school takes up much of the time then it means that teachers have less time to fine tune the students’ skill. Teacher judgment first.

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